Bob Andy’s daughter talks about his legacy, love for Jamaica
Second anniversary of his passing
It has taken Bianca Anderson two years to arrive at a place where she can feel comfortable talking about her father, veteran reggae singer and prolific songwriter Keith ‘Bob Andy’ Anderson.
A ‘Daddy’s girl’, who has cherished memories of her lunch kit being placed by the security guard many evenings because her father was late to pick her up and then spending her evenings with him in the studio before going home, and also accompanying him on tours, Bianca described his death on March 27, 2020, as a huge loss.
So painful, in fact, that she shied away from the media totally. “I wasn’t comfortable. He’s my dad every single day. It was just at the start of COVID, and he passed at home. I posted one video online to say ‘Thank you,’ and that was it. I was in transition, and it was a very weird time,” she shared, as she set the record straight regarding the private family farewell for the reggae singer at Bob Marley Beach in Bull Bay, St Thomas, on July 24.
“Daddy was very specific with his wishes, and we carried out his funeral according to what he instructed. He stipulated that he didn’t want anything big, and he had asked to go home with Nyabinghi drums. He was pretty detailed and said he wanted it to be outside, and we did precisely as he asked,” Bianca explained.
Another thing that the I’ve Got To Go Back Home singer was specific about was his legacy, and his children have pledged to make sure that they abide by his wishes.
“We will all do as he wishes and ensure that his legacy is managed in a way that befitted his life. One thing I want to bring out is how proud daddy was to be Jamaican and how he instilled that pride in all his children,” she said.
Numbered among reggae’s most prolific songwriters, Bob Andy has enjoyed a storied career, receiving numerous trophies and accolades along the way, including the Order of Distinction (Commander class) from the Government in 2006 for his contribution to the development of Jamaican music. When reports of his death were confirmed, tributes flowed freely from his musical colleagues, fans and the Government. Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange stated, “Bob Andy leaves a legacy of some of the greatest hits, including the classic, I’ve Got to Go Back Home and Fire Burning. I have been a big fan of Bob Andy’s music. Nobody could write songs like him. Bob Andy lived a long, creative life during which he’s been a singer-songwriter, producer, dancer and actor. We all mourn the passing of a truly remarkable man.”
Bianco shared that she was amazed at her father’s breadth of his knowledge about the genres of music.
“His favourite thing was to be driven and listen to music, and I love to drive. We would get to where we were going and sit in the car waiting for the song to finish. We would sit in the car for half an hour hitting repeat on that one song,” she said.
Having lost her beloved ‘daddy’, Bianca is now on a quest to find Bob Andy. She is tracking down all the first original presses of his records in the hopes of having the largest Bob Andy collection.
“I am finding Bob Andy,” she said through tears. “I really just want to thank all the Jamaican people and the people across the world who continue to listen to daddy’s music.”
In the early 1970s, Bob Andy, whose career spanned several decades, recorded with Marcia Griffiths as the duo Bob and Marcia, initially for Studio One, but later under producer Harry J’s tutelage. They had a major UK hit with the song, Young, Gifted and Black, and went on tour in England together.
Anderson was conferred with Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for his contributions to the development of Jamaican music by the Government in October 2006.